I finally took the recommendation of a colleague of mine to visit Meilus Precision Therapy to help heal my plantar fasciitis and achilles tendon. Meilus Precision Therapy is a cutting edge method to treat injuries, relieve aches and pains, and improve athletic performance. The therapy actually lengthens muscles again.I know customers who actually avoided surgery because of this robotic massage. After two treatments, I really felt the difference.
The creator of Meilus Precison Therapy, Al Meilus, is based in the southwest Florida. There are centers that exclusively use the Meilus methods of recovery. Dave Wallwork is the Clinical Director for the Meilus Precison Therapy in our area. Dave worked as an athletic trainer in professional baseball for 16 years with the last six years as the rehab coordinator for the Chicago White Sox. Now Dave focuses all his energy on his Meilus business in southern Sarasota, please visit his website to learn about how this robotic massage therapy works at www.SarasotaMeilusTherapy.com.
To view this robot in action on my legs, please check out this short video:
Please check for the Meilus Precision Therapy center near you. It will get you back in your chosen sport…fast!
If you do go in for a visit, please write us at www.OneMileRunner.com and let us know about your experience with the robotic massage.
The fourth reason I was able to complete the 20/20/20<5@45 feat was due to custom orthotics and proper footwear. I first met Vasile Faklis, one of the Consultants and sponsors (Faklis Orthotics) of the www.OneMileRunner.com, back in 2003 as I traveled up to Tarpon Springs to defend my 5K title from 2002. At that time I had plantar fasciitis in my right foot that I thought might be better, but after racing the first half of the race, my foot was screaming in pain. It was a point-to-point race, so since I was already 2 miles into the 3.1 race, I thought I might as well complete the race since the finish line was closer than going back to the start.
After the race, I met Vasile at the small expo. To get to the source of the pain is the key on injury prevention. The lack of a cushioned custom orthotic coupled with a new race shoe that was lower in the heel created my foot problems at that time. I cured my plantar fasciitis with a new shoe, new custom orthotics, the night splint, and rest. Since that time my custom orthotics have evolved over the years. At the moment, I am working with Vasile to adjust my custom orthotics. Since I have been back on the tennis court the past few months, my plantar fasciitis in my right foot has reappeared. I saw Dr. Tjamaloukas for an appointment and x-rays and he let me know that I have a very difficult foot structure. This is why custom orthotics are so important to me. How we hit the ground is personal and unique to each of us. If you can afford a custom cushioned orthotic, I cannot recommend it enough. I am fortunate to have Faklis Orthotics take great care of my foot needs and I excited to try my new orthotics on 1/3/09. My hope is that once again – Vasile will take away my foot pain with his new creation.
My shoe sponsor for 2008 was Brooks. The knowledgeable Florida rep, Gene Ulishney, was very helpful to me in finding the right shoe for my foot. We let the custom orthotics do the corrections – so I could then train and race in a neutral shoe. I did my heavy distance in the Brooks Glycerin, my trail/beach running in the Cascadia, and my mile road racing in the Brooks T5. The only problem that I had with Brooks was with one of my favorite racing shoes – the T5. With my new orthotics, I needed a 12.5 size shoe. The T5 stopped at size 12 and then had a size 13. No 12.5 in this shoe size. The Glycerin and the Cascadia fit very well in the 12.5 size, but the size 13 in the T5 felt like “clown shoes” as they were just too long. So Vasile put the size 12 T5 on a shoe stretcher and then sent the shoes to me on the road. Proper fitting shoes are key to training and racing. I am undecided on what shoe company I will be associated with in 2009, but I will be certain that the combination of the Faklis Orthotics, SmoothToe Energizing Socks (new sock sponsor for 2009), and the shoe fit together wonderfully for maximum protection, fit, and performance.
As my Dad told me when I was a kid – never compromise on footwear! As runners this is the main piece of equipment for our sport. I am very excited to welcome the SmoothToe compression sock to the team of sponsors in 2009. This energizing sock will help my blood flow, recovery, and performance. It is the “Rolls Royce” of socks and I will let you know how you can try a pair in an upcoming blog entry.
So please take care of your feet this upcoming year. This is the foundation of your running. If your foot strike is good, then that will keep your ankles, knees, hips, and back in alignment. Give yourself a foot massage to begin the year and get ready to accelerate in 2009!
This 20/20/20<5@45 event really pushed me. Mentally and physically I felt challenged during my 5 months of continued racing. I realized that my life’s interests lie only in attributes that I cannot touch like courage, strength, kindness, etc. I am in the process of working on my third book called Inner Success (update: renamed Creating Amazement). I will be sharing the 20 attributes I learned in my travels.
The third reason that allowed me to complete the 20/20/20 quest is having a limitless mental outlook. I am not going to allow my mind to limit me. When I run the mile well, there is pain – physical pain in my legs and lungs and mental pain wondering how much will I take before slowing down. When I am racing the mile, I am never comfortable. I am on that edge of speed that hurts. However, in that uncomfortable place is the internal learning that I desire to experience. It is tinkering on that “fence” of high performance and pain that I learn about myself. These are experiences that I cannot purchase. It is why I race.
There are people that tell me not to race so much. They tell me that people at my age should not stress out their hearts by running under 5 minutes in the mile. But I do have a desire to push the boundaries of my own life – physically, mentally, and spiritually. This is where self discovery exists, but I guess I SEE things differently.
In my seminars and presentations, I often discuss the power of perception. Perception is how we see events, others, and ourselves. This generates all our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Perception does not describe reality, but it does add meaning to an observation. I use an example of a deer standing on the edge of the forest in my book, Play Better, Live Better. I discuss how I have a farmer, a hunter, and a young girl standing next to me looking out at that deer. The farmer claims that he is scared of the deer venturing in to his garden and eating his vegetable garden. The hunter wants the deer as a reward for his wall after he shoots it. And the young girl says that the deer is very cute and looks like Bambi. The same deer creates three different perceptions. And those perceptions shape how the farmer, hunter, and girl think, feel, and act.
Did you ever wonder why one basketball player sees a last second shot as terrifying or threatening and another as exciting or challenging? It all lies in their perceptions. When I hear people talk about changing the way they think (“I am going to have positive thoughts”), feel (“I am going to have a positive attitude!”), or act (“I am going to have good behavior”), I often wonder how long will it last. They have not uncovered the source of their challenges, but have put their energies in temporary fixes. Getting to the source of the problem is the key and perception is the basis of lasting change.
The great part about perception is that it is your choice. How you see life is your choice. Really. Do your perceptions limit your life or free you to reach your potential? Do your perceptions bring you closer to your aspirations or further away? It is time to take control of one of the few things in life that you do have control over – your perceptions. Then you will see so clearly…
On November 8th, 2008 I will be the keynote speaker for the PFA (Pedorthic Footwear Association) Conference in Nashville, TN. It is PFA’s 50th anniversary as it was established in 1958. My presentation, “Active In Our Golden Years,”is focused on what needs to be done to be active as we get older. Also, my talk will discuss the 7 themes that allowed me to accomplish the 20/20/20<5@45 feat. Interestingly, the same 7 themes that enabled me to accomplish my goal of running not just one mile under 5 minutes, but 20 of them in 20 weeks in 20 different cities – are the same themes that allow older adults to be active as we age. Not only am I excited to share my views on what happened over my 5 months of travel, but also I am honored to be an example of an older athlete trying to inspire other older adults to be active. As I say, life is better on the move. By appreciating the freedom and joy in that morning run, Saturday bike ride, or late night swim, we should cherish and treat with great respect the ability to move.
The first of my 7 themes is Personal Inspiration. At the beginning, I discuss the difference between motivation and inspiration. Motivation comes from the outside and externally in the form of awards, praise, or fear. Motivation gets people to look outside themselves for a reason to act. Most people work hard to get a reward or to avoid punishment. Both of these motivational aspirations try to go inside the individual and become a part of them. Unfortunately, motivation is very temporary. Awards might motivate you for a while and fear can work to get one to do something for a while, but eventually these motivational mechanisms fade.
As a Classics major from Bowdoin College, inspiration is one of my favorite words as it comes from Latin origin meaning “to breathe into.” I am listed as a “motivational speaker,” but I am really an “inspirational speaker.” I believe everyone has a unique spark inside of them. A spark is the essence of someone, the energy of their soul. I attempt to take everyone’s unique spark and blow inspiration over that spark and try to turn it into a roaring flame. How can you tell what your spark is? Take a look at what you feel passionate and love for – that is your source of enthusiasm. Another one of my favorite words, enthusiasm, comes from Greek origin meaning “God within.” I believe deeply that if everyone on the planet was aware of their own spark , their own passion, that the world would indeed be a different place.
Personal Inspiration is the cornerstone and foundation to whatever you would like to accomplish. Your inspiration begins on the inside of you and then is manifested and seen outside of you in your actions. Motivation goes from the outside and tries to go inside, but inspiration is the opposite as it starts inside and then is seen outside. I hope you all find your inspiration in 2009 and that you can find a way to act on what you are enthusiastic about in your life. In the remaining two months of 2008, I will share the other 6 themes and I look forward to writing my next blog entry after my keynote address on 11/10/08.
Roger Bannister, who is the first man to break 4 minutes for the mile, spoke about the beauty of running 4 laps in under 4 minutes. Bannister broke the 4 minute barrier on May 6, 1954. At that time, the mile was a huge international event as he and John Landy from Australia were trying to become the first man to break 4 minutes in the mile. 46 days after Bannister broke the record, Landy broke Bannister’s record.
Today almost all of the tracks in the USA are on the metric scale. No longer can we talk about “the beauty of running 4 laps in under 4 minutes” as Bannister did for the mile. It takes 4 laps and another 9 meters to run the mile now on the metric track. It is all fairly confusing now as we have the 1500 meters (100 meters less than 4 laps = metric mile), high schoolers running 1600 meters and thinking that they ran a mile, and then the full mile.
I know the world uses the metric system and we in the United States are following the international standard in track and field. But as long as I can buy a gallon of milk or drive on our roads measured in miles, I want to promote the idea of the mile race. Americans can relate to the mile. They all have a feeling for what it is. Try to mention 5 kilometers or 10 kilometers to a non-runner and they do not really know how far that is. And even the people and runners who do know the distance, they say that is 3.1 miles or 6.2 miles. It always comes back to miles. The 5K and 10K races that are run in the USA are still marked in miles. Runners often ask me in a 5K race, “What did you run the first mile in?” It always comes back to the mile in the USA. We are familiar with it.
The metric system killed the international popularity of the mile, but that does not mean it is totally dead. I have been traveling around North America since May running mile road races. It is a wonderful event that takes speed and strength. And if you run it to do your best, it is a painful event. The lactic acid builds in your muscles, your lungs burn with every breath, and your heart pumps faster and faster. From a fitness perspective, it is a wonderful addition to the many aerobic exercises that are propagated in the health field today. If people, who are able and healthy enough, could run one mile twice a week in addition to their normal exercises, the benefits of this workout would be amazing. I met a ultramarathoner at a recent mile race and he was saying how much more he was hurting after the mile race than after a long marathon run. If you treat the mile as a speed workout, it is one of the best workouts you can do. I have people commenting to me, “It is only a mile race?” Referring that it is not that long (as most people are accustomed to more distance in road racing), but if you really go for it…it is plenty long enough.
One of the frequent readers at www.OneMileRunner.com and staunch advocate of the mile, David Wrenn, voices many of the same feelings that I have for the mile event. Now that the 5K is taking over the 10K in running popularity due to more people being able to run the distance while avoiding the injuries and illnesses of the marathon and is less complicated to conduct a 5K event than a 10K. Why is the mile not the next natural progression? It is even easier to arrange a one mile race for every race director and even more people are attracted to the mile as they are able to run the distance. And as David points out, “Who envies the physique of an elite marathoner?”
The one mile race today is still as majestic as Bannister mused about the mile back in the 50s. Try one out and tell me what you think.
Many people have written me asking what I eat? What do I drink? What supplements do I take? So I thought it was time to answer a few of your questions.
After running a 4:37 at the Masters Indoor Nationals in 2007, I had a guy at my home club ask me, so what are you “on” to run like that at your age? And I said, “soy and broccoli.” Thus, the name for this blog entry.
I have been a vegan now for over 20 years. I first changed my diet to be a lacto-vegetarian (still consuming milk products) back in 1985 when I was training in New England before going over to play a few tennis tournaments in Europe. Usually, people need time to feel the effects of going vegetarian. Some feel terrible during the transition because their bodies are used to a certain nutritional intake. I was different. I immediately felt the dramatic effects of more energy and more balance as I was waking up the same way with a little “bounce in my step” everyday. My change to a vegetarian diet started back in the 80’s when the veggie options available today were non-existent. But I stuck with it, and the better I felt, the more I wanted to learn about it.
So when I moved to India in 1987 to coach the Junior National Tennis Team in Madras, I went as a lacto-vegetarian and soon transformed my diet into being a vegan (no meat, fish, eggs, or dairy). Many of the reasons at the beginning were due to basic health reasons in India: ice cream in India then was eaten with a risk of typhoid, the milk needed to be boiled as it was delivered to your door in a plastic bag directly from the cow, and the cheese in the late 80’s in India (Amul brand) was disgusting. So I became a vegan. I tried dairy products again for a brief time when I returned to the United States in the early 90’s, but I felt better without the dairy – so the vegan diet stuck. Now that I reside in the United States, I try to buy “organic” products as much as possible that are fairly reasonable. Everyone’s body is different, but my vegan diet has worked wonders for me.
I should also add that I do not drink any alcohol. After my years at a Bowdoin College fraternity, I outgrew the need to consume alcohol. I stopped drinking socially in 1987 when I joined a company with a “no drinking” policy. Then, after leaving the company in 1992, it became a personal choice as I no longer wanted “to miss any moments of life.” So the combination of vegan food and no alcoholic beverages still stands 21 years later at 45. I wake up the same way everyday – no hangovers from alcohol or heavy foods. I think it helps my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
I have a long list of supplement sponsors that would like me to use their product to promote better health, recovery, hormonal balance, etc., but I choose to just take one vegetarian, multi-vitamin a day in addition to my food. With the help of my brother and Nutritional Consultant, Marc, I have a protein with every meal. This regime helps balance my sugar, blood, and nutritional levels.
I wanted this 20 week journey to reflect me and my life. I wanted this journey to represent good, clean health that anyone can do. I was always curious how fast I could go as I got older with my vegan lifestyle. With this 20 week challenge. I wanted to find out how consistent I could be every week in changing environments. My immune system has held up well so far in this long summer of travel. Now with four races to go and a lot of air travel remaining, I look to my “soy and broccoli” base to help me power through the finish.
During my few days at home in Sarasota, FL, I spent an evening at the University Sleep Specialists for a “sleep study and analysis” with www.OneMileRunner.com Sleep Consultant Dr. Peter Fort, MD, FCCP.
It was an interesting evening as I learned a great deal about sleep patterns and the importance of proper sleep for peak physical and mental performance. Never again will I doubt the value of quality sleep. “Delta” sleep (deep sleep) is a time when our muscles and organs repair. For anyone who wants to optimize their day, taking the time to sleep deeply and sufficiently is a must.
Check out this 11 minute video of my experience at the University Sleep Specialists. It takes you from the preparation phase and through the diagnosis. This will give you a good idea of what to expect if you are interested in participating in a sleep study yourself.
Here is a photo at the beginning of my sleep exam as Tony begins to put on the wires in the proper places for ideal readings.
Here is a photo after Tony gets done attaching all the wires on me…what do you think?
Here is a photo with Dr. Peter Fort after he went over my sleep study and analysis. You can visit The University Sleep Specialists at www.universitysleepspecialists.com
I will be traveling to New England on Saturday the 16th for a clinic in Vermont, followed by another clinic in New York. I will be participating in Race#16 in Salem, MA on August 22nd. Thank you all for your support as I enter the final quarter of my racing events.
A few of my friends got together to celebrate my 45th birthday on April 10, 2008. We started the morning at the Booker High School track doing a 1200 meter time trial trying to establish the rhythm I need for the mile. You will hear from a couple of my training partners who are turning 50 in 2008, Wayne Lee Johnson and David Putnam. Also, you will hear fom the Training Consultant, Ray Helsing, and watch Kim Sheffield, 40-44 Indoor National Champ in the 800 and mile, perform a few medicine ball exercises.